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Record details

ID:MHG3140
Type of record:Building
Name:Dunvegan Castle
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Images

Listed Building Record - photograph  © Please contact Highland Council for detailsOld Council listed building record (for up to date description see link to Historic Scotland's website)  © Highland Council(photo by Andrew Puls)  © Highland Council(photo by Andrew Puls)  © Highland Council(photo by Andrew Puls)  © Highland Council(photo by Andrew Puls)  © Highland Council(photo by Andrew Puls)  © Highland Council(photo by Andrew Puls)  © Highland Council(photo by Andrew Puls)  © Highland Council(photo by Andrew Puls)  © Highland Council(photo by Andrew Puls)  © Highland Council(photo by Andrew Puls)  © Highland CouncilDunvegan Castle, Skye (photo by Andrew Taylor)  © Andrew TaylorDunvegan Castle, Skye (photo by Andrew Taylor)  © Andrew TaylorDunvegan Castle, Skye (photo by Andrew Taylor)  © Andrew TaylorDunvegan Castle, Skye (photo by Andrew Taylor)  © Andrew TaylorDunvegan Castle, Skye (photo by Andrew Taylor)  © Andrew TaylorDunvegan Castle, Skye (photo by Andrew Taylor)  © Andrew Taylor

Reports

Sites and Monuments Record Card  © Highland Council (File size: 255 KB)Sites and Monuments Record Card  © Highland Council (File size: 834 KB)Sites and Monuments Record Card  © Highland Council (File size: 1223 KB)Sites and Monuments Record Card  © Highland Council (File size: 1323 KB)Sites and Monuments Record Card  © Highland Council (File size: 1327 KB)Sites and Monuments Record Card  © Highland Council (File size: 1206 KB)
Grid Reference:NG 2474 4910
Map Sheet:NG24NW
Civil Parish:DUIRINISH
Geographical Area:SKYE AND LOCHALSH

Monument Types

  • CASTLE (Medieval to 21st Century - 1058 AD to 2100 AD)
Protected Status:Listed Building (A) 501: Dunvegan Castle, Approach Causeway And Bridges

Other References/Statuses

  • Historic Environment Record: MHG3140
  • NMRS NUMLINK Reference: 10835
  • NMRS Record Details: NG24NW7.0 SKYE, DUNVEGAN CASTLE
  • Old SMR Reference Number: NG24NW0007
  • Old SMR Reference Number: NG24NW0040

Full description

NG 24NW 7.00 2474 4810

NG24NW 7.01 NG 2458 4954 Stables; Saw Mill
NG24NW 7.02 NG 2468 4902 Laundry
NG24NW 7.03 Centred NG 2482 4897 Gardens
NG24NW 7.04 Centred NG 2475 4888 Walled garden

Dunvegan Castle occupies the summit of a rock which projects on to the eastern shore of an inlet. On the landward side it is isolated by a ditch, partly natural and partly artifical, about 60ft in width and 18ft in present depth. There seems little doubt that the rock was the site of a dun of some island chief at an early date. The name is said to mean 'Began's Dun'. All traces of any prehistoric structure seems to have been swept away for the medieval works.
In the 13th century, after the annexation of the Western Isles by Alexander III in 1266, the summit of the rock was enclosed with a certain wall with arched entrance, the sea gate, from which steps led up to yhe platform area, the only entrance to the castle till 1748. In the second half of the 14th century, a keep, 48ft by 35ft, was built at the NE angle of the rock. Early in the 16th century, the 'Fairy Tower' was added at the SE corner, and between these two towers extends Roy Mor's work, erected 1623. The SW wing was built between 1684 and 1690. All these buildings have been much altered by the 19th century transformation.
RCAHMS 1928; W D Simpson 1963.

Dunvegan Castle, the ancestral home of the Macleods, is the private residence of Dame Flora Macleod of Macleod. It is described above, and is in excellent condition.
Visited by OS (A S P) 17 May 1961.

OWNER: Dame Flora MacLeod of MacLeod

ARCHITECT: William Burn (?)
Robert Brown - remodelling work 1840 - 50
Colin Sinclair - repairs after fire 1938 - 40

REFERENCE:
SCOTTISH RECORD OFFICE
1. Plan of part of castle showing proposed alterations
2. West elevation.
[1840]
Billiard room on level with present drawing room. MacLeod Private Collection
Plans of 2nd and 3rd storey of North wing. Give dimensions in great detail. c.1812

NMRS LIBRARY
'Scottish Country Life' May 1930, page 140 - photograph

See also:

NG24NW0013 The Cottage
NG24NW0032 Gatepiers
NG24NW0034 Stables and sawmill
NG24NW0036 Walled garden and sundial
NG24NW0037 Laundry
NG24NW0040 Gardens
NG24NW0054 Carved stone


Taylor, A, 02/2010, A Collection of Highland Buildings and Monuments (Image/Photograph(s)). SHG25366.


MacGibbon, D and Ross, T, 1887-92, The castellated and domestic architecture of Scotland from the twelfth to the eighteenth centuries, Vol.III, 77 - 82; 78, 80, 81 (Text/Publication/Volume). SHG2442.


Werner Company of Chicago, 1894, Beautiful Britain: the scenery and the splendours of the United Kingdom: views of our stately houses ... royal residences, palaces and castles, bowers and hunting-lodges, river banks and islets, the homes of princes, 105 (Text/Publication/Volume). SHG2928.


Bogle, L, 1895, 'Archaeological notes on Dunvegan Castle', Proc Soc Antiq Scot Vol. 24 1894-5, p.255-71, 255-71 (Text/Publication/Article). SHG194.


RCAHMS, 1928, The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments and Constructions of Scotland. Ninth report with inventory of monuments and constructions in the Outer Hebrides, Skye and the Small Isles, 152-4, No. 504; plan fig. 221; illust figs. 217-18 (Text/Report). SHG2656.


MacLeod of MacLeod, R C (ed.), 1938, The book of Dunvegan being documents from the Muniment Room of the MacLeods of MacLeod at Dunvegan Castle, Isle of Skye (Text/Publication/Volume). SHG2484.


Gordon, S, 1950, 'Dunvegan: strong castle of Skye', Scot Fld Vol. 98 May 1950, p.21-3, 21-3 (Text/Publication/Article). SHG681.


Simpson, W D, 1963, Dunvegan Castle, Isle of Skye: official guide, 5, 8-9 (Text/Publication/Volume). SHG2799.


Forman, S, 1964, 'Dunvegan: home of the MacLeods of MacLeod for seven centuries', Scot Fld Vol. 111 Oct 1964, p.36-8, 36-38 (Text/Publication/Article). SHG680.


Forman, S, 1967, Scottish country houses and castles, 166 -8; 166 – 8 (Text/Publication/Volume). SHG2206.


MacLeod of MacLeod, J, 1978, 'Dunvegan Castle: a tour round the castle with Chief John', Clan MacLeod Magazine Vol. 8 1978, p.6-14, 6-14 (Text/Publication/Article). SHG679.


Ritchie and Harman, J N G and M, 1985, Exploring Scotland's heritage: Argyll and the Western Isles, 81-2, no.27 (Text/Publication/Volume). SHG2708.


Miket and Roberts, R and D L, 1990, The medieval castles of Skye and Lochalsh, 65-73 (Text/Publication/Volume). SHG2516.

Related Monument/Building records

MHG16910Parent of: Dunvegan Castle, gatepiers (Monument)
MHG16911Parent of: Dunvegan Castle, laundry (Building)
MHG16912Parent of: Dunvegan Castle, walled garden and sundial (Parks and Gardens)
MHG29371Parent of: Possible Pillar Capital, Dunvegan Castle (Monument)
MHG24077Parent of: Skye, Dunvegan Castle, Gardens (Parks and Gardens)
MHG16773Parent of: Stables & Saw Mill, Dunvegan Castle (Monument)
MHG4797Parent of: The Cottage, Dunvegan, Skye (Monument)

Related Investigations - none

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Monuments/Buildings
Investigations
Conservation Areas
Listed Buildings
Scheduled Ancient Monuments
Designed Landscapes
Registered Battlefields
Marine Protected Areas